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Should Carpet Be Lighter Or Darker Than the Walls?

Small Workout Room Ideas when space in your home is tight.

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

When choosing to put in new carpet or paint the walls in your home, there are a lot of decisions that you can make. You need to choose the right color that you like and will look nice within the room. One decision that each homeowner will need to choose is whether the carpet should be lighter or darker in color compared to the walls.

Carpets can be either lighter or darker than the walls. Make sure that the carpet and walls are at least two shades different to help make a clear distinction between the walls and the floors.

When the carpet is darker, this helps to make the room look larger and more spacious.

When the carpet is lighter, it can appear more comfortable, though the room may look smaller. 

Choosing the right color for the carpets in your home can be a big decision and you want to make sure that you are doing it the right way. With so many options to go with, it is hard to know which one is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at what color carpets you should use in your home for the best results.

The Rules For Rug/Carpet Color and Wall Color

The good news about picking out a new carpet or painting the walls is that there is really not a right or wrong answer here. It often has to do with your own personal preferences, especially if you do not plan to sell the home and have to worry about what others think about the home and how it looks. You can choose to have the carpet be either lighter or darker than the walls.

carpet two shades apart

One rule that you should try to keep with though is that the walls and the carpet need to be at least two shades apart. Whether the carpet is the darker color or the walls are the darker color is not important. Keeping the walls and the carpets two shades apart is going to make sure that there is a clear distinction between the floor and the walls. This will make sure that the space is as comfortable as possible.

While you can have the carpets lighter or darker, the shade will change how the room feels. For example, if you make the carpet darker than the walls, then your room is going to appear and feel larger.

gray floor bedroom design

If you turn it around and the walls are darker than the carpet, the room can feel smaller, even though the lighter carpet helps the space feel more inviting.

Can I Use Pastels?

If you are uncertain about which way to go with the carpet and the walls, there are a few options that are available to you.

pastel wall light carpet

First is to use pastel as a neutral color in the room. For this to work, you will use a carpet that is a slightly darker color. Then the walls should be done in a neutral or pastel color.

pastel as a neutral color carpet

This helps to make the room more of a blank canvas so you can add some of the personal touches that you need with the right accessories.

Complement Each Other

One rule to keep in mind when it comes to picking out the carpet that you want to use in your home is to make sure that they complement the color of the wall. This means that the colors in the carpet and the colors in the wall need to work together and look nice. If you are not sure how good your choice is, then it is time to compare them with one another.

dark brown carpet with light brown walls

A good way to do this is to get carpet swaths and some paint testers. You can then pick out a few of the ones that you like of both and then put the colors together to see how they look. This is a great approach that will help you to save a lot of time and money before you paint the walls or lay down some new carpet that you do not like.

white walls chevron grey rug

Always remember that there are not really any right or wrong answers when picking out the carpet. You can choose to have the carpets be lighter or darker compared to the walls. Just make sure that they are a minimum of two color shades apart and then go with the colors that you like the most.

Choosing the Right Carpet for Your Home

Choosing carpet for your home is a big decision. You need to make sure that you go with the color that you like the best, the kind that will look nice and make your home feel more comfortable overall. By using some of the tips above and figuring out what will look the best within the room, you are certain to get the exact carpet that your home needs

Photo: Lace and Grace Interiors
Photo: Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home
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Photo: Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

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